Tickles, Tremors and Tinkles

We all have quirks. Sometimes these actions manifest themselves consciously or unconsciously. One of my familiar habits is the noticeable shaking of the leg. Many people do this, and they take the form of a relative, close friend, the stranger on public transportation, the person sitting across from you at a table and animals.

No, this isn’t the same as a dog’s scratch reflex. The shaking of the pet’s leg is involuntary, according to a blurb on Animal Planet’s website. Hitting that so-called spot is nothing more than irritating the pup. The dog kicks its leg in response of getting rid of your hand. Good work, humans. It’s like being tickled and having it annoy the hell out of you, and then you pee everywhere. However, this spot and reaction definitely purposeful when vets are trying to detect nerve damage, and this is according to the same article.

Cat’s may or may not have a spot. Very few will let you mess with their belly. It’s the one moment when the species is not purposefully being an asshole. They’re not stupid, but don’t like to be messed with. They are continually determined to hide their vulnerability to their owners, who are often referred to as puppets or minions.

Nor is this restless leg syndrome (RLS). According to WebMD, RLS is:

“…uncomfortable sensations in their legs (and sometimes arms or other parts of the body) and an irresistible urge to move their legs to relieve the sensations. The condition causes an uncomfortable, ‘itchy,”pins and needles,’ or ‘creepy crawly’ feeling in the legs. The sensations are usually worse at rest, especially when lying or sitting.”

Leg shaking can also be caused by medications or thyroid problems. I do, in fact, take medication for my thyroid problem, which is simply not having one. I didn’t have it removed, but it was a case of congenital hypothyroidism. I wasn’t born with the gland. So, this cannot be the cause.

My not being born with a thyroid and shaking a leg can be compared to zombies. A zombie is put down by destroying the creature’s brain. If a being does not have a brain, it cannot zombify. If my thyroid is a brain, my leg cannot zombify. The reasoning is null and void.

And, yes, I kind of called myself brainless.

The only reason why legs shake — and this is from my non-doctorate perspective — has to be from slight nervousness or social anxiety.

At 8 a.m. yesterday morning: There was only one other person in the table area of Downtown  Syracuse location of Recess Coffee. The sky was gray. The rain had not yet begun to fall. My mind and body were relieved to be in one of the stages of relief from a plaguing cold. My laptop was open, the classic breakfast sandwich — egg, cheese, bacon — on a chive bagel sat on a white plate, which was in between my coffee and my person.

My leg started to shake. I stopped it. It started again moments later and the guy two seats down from me said, The bathroom’s through that door.

Since I wasn’t 100 percent better — still congested, less snotty — my muffled hearing led me to think he was asking a question. Yes, I answered, it’s through that door and down the hall a little bit. You’ll see it on your left.

The guy looked at me almost puzzled. He said, No. The bathroom is down there.

Cue my puzzled look. He continued and elaborated. If you have to go to the bathroom, it’s in there. I saw your leg shaking. I don’t want you to think you have to hold it. 

Oh. It was all I could get out. In the first second. No, sir, it’s okay. My leg just shakes. It’s a nerve thing. I wanted to say my leg is just like a Woody Allen stand-up routine, but he didn’t seem to be in a joking mood, understand or grasp that this happens to people or came across as a fan of the observational Jewish storyteller.

I’m not jumping in place, gritting my teeth, groaning and holding my crotch.

His mouth opened slightly. He slightly nodded his head up, letting me know he was attempting to relate. I couldn’t elaborate about the exact science behind it. It can be said it doesn’t affect my sleeping or sitting habits, there aren’t itchy or crawly feelings and no one is tickling that useless spot of my body which causes my leg to uncontrollably kick.

I’m also not ticklish.

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